Police kill 11 heist robbers

Tebogo Monama

Tebogo Monama

Police yesterday delivered yet another killer punch against cash-in-transit robbers.

Eleven heavily armed would- be robbers got more than they bargained for and ended up dead. This was after their plans to rob a cash-in-transit vehicle were foiled by the police in Maubane, near Hammanskraal.

This is the second time in less than a month that police have smashed cash-in-transit rings in the country.

On November 19 police killed six robbers in two separate incidents in Pretoria and Sebokeng.

The men were killed after they tried to hold up a Coin security van. National police spokesman, Phuti Setati said police had received a tip-off regarding the intended heist that was supposed to have taken place next to the Maubane toll plaza.

"It was a joint effort between the task force, hi-tech unit and the organised crime unit.

"Our members stood at strategic points on the scene and when the robbers opened fire at the Coin van, they retaliated."

The Coin security van was on its way from the area, on its way back to Pretoria when the incident occurred.

Ten robbers were killed on the scene, one died in an ambulance and another has been admitted to hospital.

The men were using three vehicles, a Volvo S40, a Mazda and a Nissan bakkie.

Setati said the injured were taken to Pretoria Academic Hospital.

"By now robbers understand our language. They must abandon their criminal activity. We are not going to spare any effort in ensuring that all of their plans are thwarted," Setati said.

Curious onlookers from nearby Maubane Greenside crossed thick bushes and a railway line to see the six bodies sprawled in the street.

One of the men was killed behind the wheel of the Nissan bakkie.

Two of the men's bodies were recovered from a mielie farm next to the road. Five of the men died with their hands above their head, a sign of surrender.

A resident said: "I saw the men a couple of minutes before it happened. They asked where they could find airtime and after we directed them, they left."

The man who preferred to remain anonymous said: "A few minutes later, I heard gunshots and I ran to see what was happening. To my surprise police were firing at the same guys I had spoken to".

Another resident, Selina Maleka said: "I saw two helicopters circling the area and then I heard gunshots. I ran in the direction where the helicopters were going, but could not see anything because the police asked us to leave.

"It looked like a movie."